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Does the Huey battery affected by cold?


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I had a weird experience today and wanted to check with you guys if is indeed implemented.

 

I am using the Huey for years and to my surprise, I was not able to cold start it this morning in a Caucasus mission. I thought that maybe the update to the new 2.7 Beta broke something.

 

So I started to debug this and notice that the battery was way lower than usual. What is different with that mission is that it take place in the deep winter of January with a temperature of -12.

 

I do know in real life that batteries are weaker in the cold, so I asked the ground crew to provide me power. BOOM the chopper started!

 

So .... can I conclude that ED coded the fact that the battery is weaker when cold? Or it is something else I could miss.

 

 

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3 hours ago, admiki said:

If you mucked around with battery ON and anti-col and nav lights, it will take its toll on battery.

 

Not at all. Simply doing the most basic cold start. All within 20 seconds or so. I will post a track later on today...

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its been like this for years. 

so its not something new.

you need ground power to start the huey in the cold.

 

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44 minutes ago, Quadg said:

its been like this for years. 

so its not something new.

you need ground power to start the huey in the cold.

 

 

Ok this is what I thought! Nice feature! I guess I never noticed since I probably never flown in Caucasus during winter.

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I had a similar experience to you.

 

could not, for the life of me, figure out why she would not start.

then noticed the temperature may be effecting the chemistry in my chemical batteries.

with ground power she started up fine.

as it was years ago im not sure on the exact temp.

but it was repeatable.

 

 

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While cold temperatures do affect batteries, surely this "feature" is over modeled?

Maybe is a limitation of the type of battery the Huey has.

Plenty of aircraft starting in -40 deg C temperatures. 

Electric vehicles still work at -40 deg C. 

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8 hours ago, 26-J39 said:

While cold temperatures do affect batteries, surely this "feature" is over modeled?

Maybe is a limitation of the type of battery the Huey has.

Plenty of aircraft starting in -40 deg C temperatures. 

Electric vehicles still work at -40 deg C. 

 

Yeah maybe. Also the coldest temperature we can set in DCS is -12 C on the Caucasus  map. So it is not that cold...

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Posted (edited)

Human life requires quite narrow temps for life to exist (37.5c)

increase that by 5 degrees and you are dead.

 

why would you assume the chemistry in batteries is any different?

12 degrees below zero is far greater than the 5 degrees needed to kill a human through fever.

 

chemistry is a bitch.

 

there is a very good reason why the mi-8 has battery heaters, and i can even tell you where the switches are, even though they are not modelled.


Edited by Quadg

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Posted (edited)

And tardigrades are believed to be able to survive in outer space 🙂 From a few kelvins to above 100°C... and they're living creatures.
And humans are warm-blooded, kind of animals that are extremely choosy about their body temperature.
It's just not the best comparison, really. Life is different from just chemistry.

 

I don't know what kind of battery (e.g. lead acid?) and how "big" the battery Huey has, and how many amps it needs to spool up its engine to the RPM good for delivering fuel, but incapability of starting it at -12°C may or may not be correct. Car engines definitely have no problems with starting at this temperature, provided they have a healthy battery and they're basically healthy themselves. -12°C is no big deal. Now, -40°C is a whole different story - ask Russians, they know all about it (or Scandinavians, Canadians). -40 - bad, -12 - meh, let's go. Sure, the startup will be harder, but still it's "let's go".


From the electrical point of view the internal resistance simply rises in cold (the true chemical reason behind it may not be that "simply", but I know nothing about it), so when you try to draw high amps, the voltage dips and she goes boo... ooo... (sinister silence now).

 

The fact that they may be using external power to start the engine does not have to neccesserily stem from the fact that the aircraft itself cannot start at low temp., but may be (I'm guessing) due to the fact that you don't want a "tired" (heavily drained) battery once you're in the air. If your generators fail, the battery is your last power source. Gyro-driven instruments have gyros driven either by air or by motors. Maybe it's motors in the Huey? (I don't know.) You don't want your instruments to die just because you used your battery for the startup, instead of readily available GPU at the airfield. You may also need your radio etc. No power, no fun. This may be the reason - safety precautions.

 

On the other hand look at this - it's -12 (Celcius) outside, you started her up using GPU at the airfield, flew away, landed in the wild, and you had to shut her down (let's say for 20 minutes, so you didn't want to burn fuel for that long). Now what - do you need to go home on foot because Huey can't restart? At mere -12? 😧
Sure, Russians have heaters and stuff, but at -12° they don't even close windows in their bathrooms. For them it's "chilly" 🙂 They're thinking about -40°C or so.

 

So, really - I'm not sure if the OP's question is illegitimate. Being unable to start at -12°C seems rather poor - admittedly though - to an utter non-expert.
It would be great to hear from people who know more about it, or maybe have hands-on experience 🙂


Edited by scoobie

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Just to clarify, I actually never complained about that thing. I just noticed it and was wondering if it was implemented as a feature.

 

Wondering what are the official Huey specs as far as starting in cold weather goes.

 

Indeed -12 c is quite mild (I am Canadian) and we commonly starting our cars with -30 C in my area. However I do know that starting a car engine and a big jet engine is quite different. Does the Huey have an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) or the battery needs to spin that big jet engine?

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the huey uses the backup generator as a starter motor and electricity to spin up the turbines and compressors to a speed where fuel can be added and burned to make it self sustaining.

you can get two or three attempts to start, out of the battery. at normal temps.

 

 

as a fan of ice road truckers i know they don't stop their engines in the cold because they don't want to have any problems restarting.

wasting gas is not an issue.

wasting gas is not an issue for the US military either.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Quadg said:

the huey uses the backup generator as a starter motor and electricity to spin up the turbines and compressors to a speed where fuel can be added and burned to make it self sustaining.

you can get two or three attempts to start, out of the battery. at normal temps.

 

 

as a fan of ice road truckers i know they don't stop their engines in the cold because they don't want to have any problems restarting.

wasting gas is not an issue.

wasting gas is not an issue for the US military either.

 

 

 

 

Haha I grew up in James Bay (North canada). Commonly -40c during the winter. As a kid in the 80's I remember clearly my father and his friends not stopping their diesel truck at night. They would never restart in the morning.

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